CGF confident 2022 CWG will happen despite Birmingham Council leader's uncertainty

The Commonwealth Games are 18 months away and Birmingham Council leader Ian Ward has said it isn't certain that the event will go ahead amid coronavirus concerns.

"The CGF is confident that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be hosted and that it will play a significant role in the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery of the UK," CGF chief executive David Grevemberg said.   -  Twitter

The Commonwealth Games Federation is confident the 2022 Birmingham CWG will go ahead as scheduled next year despite the recent expression of doubts from the host city's council leader in view of a surge in coronavirus cases in the UK.

The Commonwealth Games are still 18 months away and Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward last week said "we can't be certain" that the Games will go ahead amid concerns over the emergence of new coronavirus strains.

The council leader of nearby town Walsall, Mike Bird, has also expressed concerns over the staging of the Games and has called for contingency plans.

But the CGF remains unfazed with its chief executive David Grevemberg saying that the Games, scheduled to be held from July 28 to August 8, are not under any threat.

"The CGF is confident that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be hosted and that it will play a significant role in the post-COVID recovery of the United Kingdom," Grevemberg said in a statement to PTI.

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He added that the stakeholders have established multi-disciplinary teams at the local, national and inter-governmental levels to deliver the Games.

"As part of our rigorous and thorough approach to planning and delivery of an event of this magnitude during this moment in time, the Birmingham 2022 partnership has established dedicated multi-disciplinary teams that are connected to policy and medical advisors at local, national and inter-governmental levels to support our efforts."

The UK has recently seen a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities with the emergence of a new strain of the virus. The situation seemed to have got slightly better in the last few days and a mass vaccination programme is currently underway.

Concerns over the hosting of the Games emerged after Ward admitted at the West Midlands Combined Authority Board meeting that it was difficult to predict the fate of next year's CWG.

"We can't be certain what is going to happen going forward -- indeed, the Olympic Games that were postponed to the summer of this year are now looking in some doubt again, so we can't be certain," claimed Ward.

"Who knows what will happen next? There may be another variant to the virus and we may all be back to square one. But I'm going to take an optimistic view and optimistically look to the future and the hosting of the Commonwealth Games, as a benefit not just for Birmingham but for the whole of the region."

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